I’m periodically asked about what steps a seer can take to enhance abilities to see in the spirit realm. Well, this is akin asking how any of us can enhance the spiritual gifts God has graced us with.
Here are 8 steps, in brief. Basically, we need to improve our spiritual disciplines. The key word is discipline, something I struggle with, particularly when I’m not in active ministry. (But aren’t we always in active ministry??? Shouldn’t we be ready “in season and out?”)
Anyway, it shouldn’t be this way: we all should be ready to be used at a moment’s notice, and that means embarking on routine acts of spiritual discipline.
(These steps assume that you know Jesus Christ, a figure rooted in actual history who came in the flesh, died for your sins, and rose again. Learn more about who Jesus is here).
Here we go:
1. Fast regularly
Fasting means giving up food, although you can give up almost anything your flesh desires for a time. 1
When you are craving whatever it is you’re fasting, focus your mind on the Lord and ask God to draw you closer to him. Be purposeful. Somehow denying our flesh leads to enhanced spiritual gifts.
A fast can be as short as a single day, or 3, 7, 21 or even 40 days. Of course, use wisdom when going on prolonged food fasts. In these cases, I recommend the Lemonade Diet/Cleanse, so that your body isn’t starved and receives important nutrients.
If you find fasting easy… then you’re not doing it right.
2. Pray in tongues
When I want to enhance my spiritual gifts, I regularly pray in tongues, otherwise known as allowing the Holy Spirit to pray through me. This is a good practice anyway, even if you aren’t focussed on enhancing your gifts. (Yes, I know this is considered by many as “too much information” at best and “the problem gift” at worst).
If you don’t pray in tongues or haven’t, I echo the Apostle Paul’s suggestion that you do so. If you want this gift, consistently ask it, get others to lay hands on you, and request it from the Father. Don’t beg. Don’t be upset if you don’t get it. Receiving (or not) this gift is not related to maturity, sin, faith or obedience, so don’t fret over it. Just ask.
For me, when I want to grow spiritually or really want the Lord to break through in some area, I pray in tongues everyday, often first thing in the morning during my personal devotional time with the Lord. This devotional time (for me) also includes, of course, worship, scripture reading, praying in English, and journaling.
Getting filled with the Holy Spirit and praying in other languages isn’t just for crazy charismatics or Pentecostals. In the 20th Century, theologians in most major denominations issued treatises, white papers, and cyclicals endorsing this spiritual practice, including Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Anglicans, Presbyterians, and more. 2
In my spiritual house cleansing book, I go into details about this starting on page 252.
Again, I know tongues is the “problem gift” for some people. If it’s a problem for you, have grace and move on. Otherwise, seek this gift (it’s for everyone, according to Paul) and exercise it.
3. Get in a Church.
Too many sit out regular church attendance. They have many excuses: they don’t like the music, or the teaching, or the theology, or the pastor, or getting up early on Sundays, or doggonit, their kids’ traveling sports teams get in the way. The excuses are endless.
Americans especially put individual desires over community needs. Do you think this is what God had in mind for us? Being individualistic and me-centered? (See page 38 in my book).
Anyway, not getting involved in a church is a mistake, according to the book of Hebrews.
The point of getting into a church isn’t to agree with everything or even to like it all, but to get into community, a community that needs your involvement at least as much as you need to be involved.
When you get into a church, this doesn’t mean you should try to change things to fit your image of how things should go. You’re supposed to get into community. Submit to a pastor, join a group or class, take communion, give financially, and most of all get in community.
4. Study the Book of Acts
If you really want to understand how spiritual gifts work, – and understanding is needed to grow in the gifts – then study the book of Acts. You can do this by yourself, but it’s better to do it in a community, with at least one other, but maybe even in a group Bible study.
Note every activity of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts in Acts. If you’re puzzled about spiritual gifts in general, study 1 Corinthians 12 through 14 (Paul’s essay on the topic), and then look for the evidence of these gifts in Acts.
The title of the Acts is often rendered “Acts of the Apostles”, but really, it should be called “Acts of the Holy Spirit.”
5. Study Col 3:1-17 for 21 days.
This leads to taking your thoughts captive, cutting out anything that takes your mind off Jesus, including watching or listening to thoughts or actions of violence or illicit sex or bloodshed or hate or anger (see Peace in Your House, starting on page 42).
Use the cheat sheet on this page to help.
As we get our mind set on heavenly things, your interpretation of what you’re seeing will improve.
6. Eat healthier.
I know, I know, this is crazy talk. First tongues, and now I’m saying improve your diet to enhance spiritual gifts?
Yes. I am.
Cut out unhealthy fats, sugars and processed foods, and increase veggies and fruit and lean meats. You know: the stuff God designed. Many of us tend to think about ourselves as a soul with a body and with a spirit. This thinking is rooted in Plato, a Greek philosopher.
But it’s not how God thinks about us. God sees us as deeply integrated and very complicated beings. We should begin thinking of ourselves similarly. The bottom line is this: your physical health impacts your spiritual growth.
Which naturally (get it?) leads to the next point…
7. Exercise regularly.
Oh, I hear the cries of outrage already.
By “regularly”, I don’t mean, “I exercise regularly once a year, on January 2.” You know very well what I mean!
8. Practice your spiritual gift.
The Apostle Paul recommends practicing your gift. Take risks in practicing. Take notes. Don’t be afraid of failing or making mistakes. Journal your experiences. Learn and grow.
I developed this list quickly in response to an email from a site visitor who wanted to know how he could enhance his spiritual gifts. I don’t think this visitor liked my response very much.
For that matter, I’m not sure I like it very much. I want a short cut. Stick my gift in a microwave and nuke it, so it’s ready super quick. Alas, this post is targeted at me as much as anyone else.
Look. There’s no magic formula to enhancing your spiritual gifts. There is no short cut. There’s no get rich quick scheme. It takes discipline and work.
But the outcome is worth it.
God has given you something wonderful. Steward it and watch it grow.
- If you’re married, use caution when giving up sex, so as to not deprive your spouse. This isn’t my advice: It’s the Apostle Paul’s, and when in doubt, go with Paul’s advice! ↩
- Vinson Synan’s, The Holiness Pentecostal Tradition: Charismatic Movements in the Twentieth Century, Second Edition (Grand Rapids MI: Cambridge, UK: Williams B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1997, 222-286. ↩